Thursday, July 18, 2013

Panopticon-Jenni Fagan

Panopticon-Jenni Fagan

the facts
satisfaction: up/side
pages: 324
gender: F
nationality: UK (Scottish)
year: 2012

 Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood.

Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.

Ok, let me first start by telling you that I really didn't get what I expected with this book. I thought it was going to be a dystopia and the blurb (the one above is only slightly better) on the back kind of made me think it was going to be a thriller. Instead, it was a rather depressingly realistic book about youth at risk in care.

Anais is the sort whose behavior is understandable from the inside and as a character she practically begs you to give her a psychiatric diagnosis since Fagan never does (trauma triggered schizophrenia?). Since she doesn't communicate (for good reason) with staff, she's on her way to a secure unit where she knows the experiment will drive her to suicide. She is 15 and in love with vintage clothes and only yearns to be free. It's not a very good position to be in and as a reader you are right there with her. It was all a bit depressing and good but I didn't really enjoy reading this.

The ending, however, was a bit unrealistic and out of voice from the rest of the book. 

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